Once you get the first formatted proofs to read (the author’s first pass) and have made your corrections, those changes are inputted and formatted. Then a second set arrives. These are called the Author’s Second Pass, and it’s the last chance before the book gets printed as an advance reader’s copy (ARC) to make any changes. Mine arrived yesterday and I was surprised to see, as I read through it, how many small tweaks were still needed.
Some were minor typos and errors, but others were redundancies I thought I’d caught during the first author’s pass. Still others are things I need to think about, where the generally smooth flow of the writing suddenly gets snagged by an awkward sentence or too much information. Re-reading the manuscript yet again also clarified some of the proof-reader’s comments; there are some areas that are a little confusing that I need to sort out as well.
I’ve made most of these changes now (luckily I have a PDF version too, so I can print off a new page when I make a revision and then decide I don’t like it) but I’m leaving the proofs to sit for a day or two before I go over it again.
What I’ve often found is that revisions that look great when I first make them take on an entirely different character when I re-read them few days later. I hear the same thing from lots of other authors. It’s like our brains just don’t “read” revisions the same way when the changes are fresh as we do even 48 hours later. Weird.
Anyway, I should be all done by Sunday evening. Then I’ll pack the manuscript up and courier it back to Toronto on Monday, well ahead of deadline.
The next step will be the exciting one: the part where all of this hard work starts to pay off and I get a copy of the ARC for The Poisoned Pawn. It will have a jacket cover, and look like a real book!
Here’s the one I just got for American version of The Beggar’s Opera, which will be released in the US in March. See what I mean?